Legendary Hollywood director Woody Allen supports the proposed mosque at Ground Zero in New York insisting the development will be "a step in the right direction".
Plans for an Islamic community centre at the site of the 9/11 terror attacks sparked outrage earlier this month when hundreds of protesters gathered at the area on its ninth anniversary.
"Of course I think they should build the mosque. The people who lost friends or relatives have every right to protest and say what they want to say. All of the other people weighing in for political and exploitation reasons... should shut up and just let the people who were personally affected make their case,” contactmusic.com quoted him as saying.
"If I was speaking to the people who are protesting legitimately, I would try to convince them, if I could, that building the mosque takes a step toward eliminating this kind of thing from happening again. Preventing the mosque from being built is not a step in the right direction."